There it is. The very first photo I ever took of my son Austin. He was a mere two days from turning 18 months. That’s him just right of center – the fuzzy little blue figure holding his caretaker’s hand.
This isn’t the first we caught sight of him. That had happened about 10 or 15 minutes prior, when the orphanage people escorted the line of beautiful little girls – and one handsome young man – out of the elevator and into a little room away from the prying round eyes of the adopting westerners. I’m not sure exactly how many minutes we waited because it felt like hours.
But, finally… the moment we had waited years for. The moment we thought might never come. The moment that was worth all the uncertainty and worry and pain and prayer and wondering that every adopting parent knows all too well.
Worthy every rug pulled out from under us.
Worth every dead end.
Worth every restless night.
We knew it then. We know it now. Austin is our great gift from God. He is our son just as if my wife had given birth to him. He has my sense of humor and his mom’s tenacity. A formidable combination if you ask me.
When I look at my beautiful son, my heart beams. I understand why we had to wait so long. We had to wait for him to be born. And I understand that nothing worthwhile comes easy or quick. No matter how impatient I get. No matter how fearful I am. Wait upon the Lord, our Heavenly Father, the Giver of all good things.
I look at this photo – the first of thousands so far – and I still feel the rush of it all. The excitement. The anxiety of being a dad The worry that I wouldn’t be able to be a good dad. That beautiful, peaceful little face.
That night, when we put our baby in his crib for the very first time, it really struck me. I am a dad. I kept waking up just to look at him.
I think back now and I am assured: God keeps His promises.